I'm late to the party with WMC, and I'm warming up with something that's cuter than I'd normally write (or read)


He knew when Claire instructed him to meet them at Lindsay's that it couldn't be serious, Claire would have insisted on taking her to the hospital if it had been serious. But knowing his partner like he did, he couldn't help but worry. She had a tendency to throw herself into situations with little regard for her own wellbeing, especially when someone else's life was in danger. He felt more than justified in pounding on his partner's door with more force than he normally would.

The wry grin on Claire's face as she opened the door caught him off guard. "Shh!" she reproved gently.

For a moment he frowned, puzzled by her reaction. Lindsay, hit by a car saving a toddler. Claire amused. I'm definitely missing something, Jacobi decided. "How is she?" he demanded as quietly as he could.

"Just a few scrapes and bruises. Not even a concussion. Mostly just a sore head. The jacket came off worst." Claire's grin got bigger.

"Worst how?"

"The kid put his sticky hands all over it. Lindsay was not pleased. It may never recover."

"So she's really okay?" After the year they'd had he felt the need to reaffirm that.

"She's really okay. Just sick of us hovering."

She moved away from the door, allowing Jacobi a view into the living room. Suddenly he understood the reason for her grin.

"Some of us, anyway."

Warren moved closer, unable to fight down his own grin. His cranky, badass partner was asleep on her couch, draped over the lap of her cute little red-haired reporter girlfriend. Cindy was asleep, too, one hand splayed protectively across Lindsay's back. The other was still tangled in her girlfriend's hair, stilled by sleep in the midst of soothing it out of her face.

He fished his phone from his pocket. "You know," he told Claire, "this would make an excellent Christmas card."

Jill emerged from the kitchen, a tray of coffee mugs in her hands. "You're right," she agreed. "They are disgustingly cute." Disgusting cuteness aside, she clearly approved of both her friends' relationship and the blackmail-worthy photo.

The three of them took a mug a clinked them together. "To Christmas," they toasted.

"Christmas?" a familiar voice husked from the couch. "How long have I been asleep?" She squinted sleepily at them, too out of it to even notice the coffee waiting for her on the table.

For a moment the three conspirators looked at each other, at a loss to explain. Jill cracked first. At the first hint of a smile Jacobi and Claire joined her, and soon all three were laughing hysterically.

"You're all nuts," Lindsay huffed at them, scooting upright enough to curl up against Cindy's side, head on her shoulder and immediately fell back to sleep. Cindy stirred only enough to turn towards Lindsay, clutching her closer.

Suddenly silent, they watched for a moment before Claire approached with her own phone. "This one's even better, she murmured as she took the shot. "Babes in the wood," she whispered gleefully.